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Following the events of 11 September 2001, public attention has been drawn to the potential malicious impact of large commercial aircrafts onto critical infrastructure, such as nuclear safety-related facilities.
Since then, many nuclear regulators worldwide require the design of new nuclear safety-related facilities to demonstrate resistance to impact by large commercial aircraft with high velocity. In some countries, similar requirements have also been applied to existing nuclear facilities.
Together with the earthquake hazard, aircraft impact is one of the principal load cases which can often dictate the design of Structures, Systems and Components (SSCs) of nuclear safety-related facilities. Aircraft impact demands often govern the cross section dimensions and structural design of the external envelope of a new nuclear safety-related facility.
Aircraft Impact Analysis (AIA) of nuclear structures is based essentially on deterministic analysis of a finite number of impact scenarios. In most cases, the impact load is represented as a load-time function (LTF) applied to the target structure.
In the past, this method was considered satisfactory for impact caused by small military aircraft. However, this approach requires a number of assumptions and simplifications, which may not be valid for the case of large commercial aircraft. Recently, coupled modelling approaches have emerged, whereby the effect of missile-target interaction is considered by explicit modelling of the aircraft and the target structure.
This evening lecture will provide a review of the main concepts for performing advanced AIA studies currently being adopted in the nuclear industry internationally and will cover modelling of the aircraft and the aircraft impact load, modelling the target structure, conducting highly nonlinear dynamic analysis, including missile-target interaction analysis, the use of experimental data for validation studies and performance based design of nuclear structures for aircraft impact loads following the latest publicly available regulatory requirements on AIA.